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Reagents for Immunologic Analysis of Non-mammalian Models

Description:

Fast-Track proposals will be accepted Number of anticipated awards: 1-3 Budget (total costs):
Phase I: $300,000/year for up to 2 years
Phase II: $1,000,000/year for up to 3 years
Background
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is intended to address the limited availability of reagents (e.g., antibodies, proteins, ligands) for the identification and discrimination of immune cells of non-mammalian models (e.g., arthropods, amphibians, fish, nematodes, marine echinoids). Non-mammalian models are easily tractable model systems to study basic, conserved immune defense pathways and mechanisms. For example, characterization of the Drosophilia Toll signaling pathway facilitated the discovery of mammalian Toll-Like Receptors (TLR), which helped to launch the field of innate immunity. Non-mammalian models can be much more easily adapted to high-throughput screening formats than mammalian organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans has been used for whole organism high-throughput screening assays to identify developmental and immune response genes, as well as for drug screening. Many non-mammalian species are natural hosts for human pathogens and share many conserved innate immune pathways with humans, such as the Nfmosquitoes, the intermediate hosts for Plasmodia parasites. Results from such studies can guide research in mammalian systems and provide insights into immune responses against pathogens transmitted to humans. Work leading towards a better understanding of immune regulation within non-mammalian models has been constrained by the limited availability of antibodies and other immune-based reagents for the use in scientific studies.
Project Goal

Development and validation of reliable antibodies against non-mammalian immune cell markers or other reagents that allow for the identification and tracking of primary immune cells.
Phase I Activities include, but are not limited to:
 Identification of protein targets (immune cell markers, receptors with immune function)  Development of antibodies/reagents that allow for the identification and/or discrimination between primary immune cells from non-mammalian species
Phase II Activities include, but are not limited to:
 Validation of antibodies/reagents  Screening for cross-reactivity with related molecules on other non-mammalian species and/or mammalian immune cells  Scale-up production
This SBIR will not support:
 Development of antibodies/reagents against immune markers on mammalian cells
 Development of antibodies/reagents against markers on cells not involved in immune responses

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